Posted May 5, Reviewed by Davia Sills. Interracial and interethnic marriages have been rising in the United States for decades, with every state experiencing an increase in the percentage of interethnic and interracial married households, according to the Census Bureau. According to the Pew Research Center, younger generations are the most likely to be in these marriages, with 13 percent of Millennials those born between and in an interethnic or interracial marriage.
In17 percent of U. Intermarried couples have historically had to weather more challenges than intraracial couples due to past and present racial discriminationas do their biracial or multiracial children.
So what can we learn from those who have prevailed in their marriage over a lengthy period of time when potentially confronted with racially charged situations or microaggressions that can benefit the rising population of interracially and interethnically married couples and those that follow? The participants had been married or dating and married to their spouses for at least 20 years. They ranged in age from 44 to 68 and had been together married and dating for an average of 28 years.
The spouses were five White males, four African American males, four Asian females, four White females, three Asian males, and two Latinos. All responded to a series of open-ended questions about their experiences. The participants identified five general strategies as successful in dealing with the negative feedback they had experienced over their many years together.
Some participants gave responses that could fit in more than one strategy as a variety of approaches may have been employed at different times. With this strategy, participants feel discomfort for themselves as a couple or for their children. They rely on a variety of non-confrontational responses. This is an active decision to essentially turn the other cheek or try to dissuade the intention behind interracial relationships in marieville negativity by educating.
For example, an African American man married to a White woman frames the interactions in a manner that fits his life philosophy. Treat every negative interaction as a teachable moment. Meet people where they are and not have their problems become yours. Whereas the partners in the first theme experience discomfort and formulate a response, participants who gave this response are seemingly not bothered by what comes their way. A White woman married to an Asian man focuses on her support systems rather than the potential negativity.
Strategy interracial relationships in marieville — We actively try to avoid contexts or uncomfortable situations where negativity might arise. Participants who voiced this strategy talked about taking specific steps not to be put in a position where they might experience negativity. If they do experience it and feel uncomfortable, they end the relationship.
From this research and others, it is common for interracial couples to avoid areas of the country and specific settings where they might feel they are being negatively scrutinized. This strategy also includes avoiding social scenes that might be uncomfortable. These participants are not directly confrontational and rather present as strong and proud of who they are, a sense of racial or ethnic pride as a couple.
They revel in their interracial relationships in marieville as a couple. A White woman married to a Latino displays how comfortable she feels with her husband and believes that garners positive attention.
Like, to me, the success of our marriage and our love and our families speak for themselves. A few participants described passing on to their children the need for caution in their behavior as well as the need for pride and speaking up when responding to negativity.
This intergenerational strategy helps the participants feel that they are working against the negativity for their children and others. An African American woman married to a White man takes a proactive approach with her children in the face of negativity directed at them or anyone else. Interracial relationships in marieville, they have a interracial relationships in marieville different vantage point.
Clinicians working with intermarried couples have a knowledge of what strategies have been successful for long-married couples. It is likely that both partners may not be on the same page all the time as to what strategy to take, interracial relationships in marieville one partner may have a history of traumatic experiences with racism that the other partner does not share. Take a position of cultural humility wherein you realize you are most likely different from the identity of one or both of the partners.
Coupled with this would be understanding the unique characteristics of the couple in relation to their genderrace, religion or spirituality interracial relationships in marieville, and class mix—their intersectionality. Be aware of racial socialization processes in children of interracial couples and the emerging literature on this topic. Family support can be key interracial relationships in marieville when it is forthcoming. Stay current on what is happening in society with hate crimes against minority groups and how those shape how couples talk about themselves, their children, and those interracial relationships in marieville love.
Finally, listen to the couple. Not all intermarried couples experience negativity from society or family. Meet them where they are. Greif, G. Geoffrey Greif, Ph. Geoffrey Greif Ph. Buddy System. Responses from 22 spouses. Key points Interracial and interethnic couples are on the rise, with 1-in-6 newlyweds now intermarrying. Interracial couples have historically faced racism and discrimination in the U. The public can learn from people who have interracial relationships in marieville intermarried for many years what strategies they employ for dealing with negativity.
When working clinically, be culturally humble, pay attention to the social context, and be aware of racial socialization literature for children. Race and Ethnicity Essential Reads. Racial Colorblindness Is Multifaceted. The Politics of Black Hair. References Greif, G. About the Author. More from Geoffrey Greif Ph. More from Psychology Today. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Mental Health. Personal Growth. Family Life. View Help Index. Do I Need Help? Talk to Someone.
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